Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler had some major praise for Heat youngsters Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Nikola Jovic.
Butler believes that Jovic will have a major role for the team in the 2023-24 season. He also said that Jaquez plays like a veteran, even though the University of California, Los Angeles product is just a rookie.
Jimmy Butler has also been impressed by Heat rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr.: “He makes all the right plays. He plays like a vet. I think the experience in the NCAA Tournament, he's very, very smart.” https://t.co/G45isf4ik2
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) October 4, 2023
Heat fans have to love that Butler thinks so highly of both young players, as the Heat will likely need them to step up after losing Max Strus (sign-and-trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers) and Gabe Vincent (signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency) this offseason.
Jovic was Miami’s first-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, but he saw limited action with the team last season.
During his rookie season, Jovic only appeared in 15 games for the Heat. He showcased some of his talent, averaging 5.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game while shooting 40.6 percent from the field.
With the Heat eventually making the NBA Finals, the team didn’t have a ton of minutes for the rookie who was still learning the ropes at the NBA level. However, Jovic did thrive in his time in the G League, a positive sign for what he could do this season.
Jovic appeared in seven G League games during the 2022-23 season, averaging 12.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. The youngster showed that he can shoot the ball at a high rate at that level, hitting 46.7 percent of his shots from the field and 34.5 percent of them from beyond the arc.
He and Jaquez could be a part of Miami’s rotation for years to come if they both reach their potential in South Beach.
The Heat took Jaquez with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. A four-year player at UCLA, Jaquez averaged 17.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game in the 2022-23 season for the Bruins.
The Heat missed out on the Damian Lillard sweepstakes this offseason, but the team still returns a good chunk of the core that made the NBA Finals in the 2022-23 campaign.
Jaquez and Jovic could be two players that provide Miami with a boost this season to keep it amongst the best teams in the East.